Grenoble information

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Crescent
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Grenoble information

Postby Crescent » Fri Nov 23, 2012 08:59 am

I am planning to visit the Alps for a few days next year. I want to cycle up Alpe d'huez (just to say I've done it) and hopefully a few other famous climbs. I will be travelling on my own and I am having difficulty organising accommodation in my preferred location - Bourg d'Oisans - as very few places offer single occupancy rooms. I am toying with the idea of staying in Grenoble as it is bigger and has a better selection of hotels but I'm wondering if (a) it is too far from where I want to be cycling and (b) is it set up for cyclists in the same way as Bourg d'Oisans (i.e. cycle friendly hotels, bike hire etc)?
Does anyone have any local knowledge of the area? I know Grenoble is only about 20 miles away from AdH but on Google maps it looks like a fairly major road (motorway?) connecting them. Is there a decent public transport link between them?

Thanks for any advice anyone can offer.
Cheers
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lofty1874
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Re: Grenoble information

Postby lofty1874 » Fri Nov 23, 2012 09:26 am

I've been to Bourg d'Oisans the last 2 summers and wouldn't have wanted to stay in Grenoble. It's a fairly major road from Grenoble and it's also uphill all the way! I stayed in a chalet/caravan at a site just outside of Bourg d'oisans and am going again this year. RCN Belledone is the site I stayed at. http://www.rcn-campings.fr/rcn-belledon ... catID=4369
Hope this helps

bronco017
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Re: Grenoble information

Postby bronco017 » Fri Nov 23, 2012 09:42 am

Hi

This hotel is about 2 miles from Bourg so may be of use to you. I put in some random dates in May and a single room came in at about £55


http://www.booking.com/hotel/fr/la-fore ... aid=353822

Hope that helps?

Bronco017

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Grill
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Re: Grenoble information

Postby Grill » Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:31 am

A) Yes
B) No

Grenoble is a hole, stay away.

Hotel La Cascade is the best option followed by Le Petit Catalan.
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Crescent
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Re: Grenoble information

Postby Crescent » Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:22 pm

Thanks for the replies. Sounds like Grenoble is not the place to aim for then.

I intend to go at the end of May and I believe the Giro is passing through the region around then, hence the difficulty in finding a hotel.

lofty1874 wrote:I've been to Bourg d'Oisans the last 2 summers and wouldn't have wanted to stay in Grenoble. It's a fairly major road from Grenoble and it's also uphill all the way! I stayed in a chalet/caravan at a site just outside of Bourg d'oisans and am going again this year. RCN Belledone is the site I stayed at. http://www.rcn-campings.fr/rcn-belledon ... catID=4369
Hope this helps


I hadn't thought about a campsite before but would certainly consider it. Are there any secure facilities for passports, money etc in the chalets?

Thanks again
Ribble Gran Fondo
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“When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. “ ~H.G. Wells
Edit - "Unless it's a BMX"

maringirl
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Re: Grenoble information

Postby maringirl » Fri Nov 23, 2012 16:36 pm

Grenoble is just like any other big city - noisy and busy with traffic. But it is not an unpleasant place if you are a fan of cities. It is about 50km from Bourg.

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Mikey1976
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Re: Grenoble information

Postby Mikey1976 » Fri Nov 23, 2012 19:54 pm

I'm looking at doing the same next year. Can't seem to get decent flights to Grenoble from Birmingham, I'm even thinking about driving.

780 miles in 12 hours according to route finder, anybody done this, is there many or are the toll roads expensive?

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davidof
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Re: Grenoble information

Postby davidof » Sat Nov 24, 2012 19:39 pm

Both Russel, who posts here and runs GrenobleCycling.com and I live in Grenoble, maybe others?

Yes it is a dump and not an ideal base but does give great access to climbs in the Vercors, Chartreuse and Belledonne ranges as well as being not too far from the Oisans. The road to Bourg d'Oisans is dangerous with heavy goods vehicles during the week but ok at weekends. You can cycle from Grenoble to Uriage then Vizille which avoids some of the worst traffic, or even "over the tops" via Herbeys. You are then in an industrial valley with various post-industrial ghost villages.

You could consider Vizille or even Uriage. Vizille is the former home of Paul Kimmage and Thierry Claveyrolat.

Take care in Grenoble, bike theft is a big big problem. I would want major assurances about where my bike was going to spend the night. Avoid the Village Olympique areas (the Allepo of the Alps - the sound of AK47s will keep you awake)

Oh you can stick your bike on the VFD bus service to Bourg d'Oisans and avoid the road if you need to. Grenoble (University) to ADH and back is 130km but there are lots of other interesting things to do. For example the other day I took the train to Modane and cycled over the Galibier back to Grenoble; just before it closed for the winter.

http://www.trainingloops.com/col-de-la- ... enoble.htm

The top of the col was covered in ice! You could do the same, take the train to Chambery and ride back to Grenoble via the Chartreuse, great ride on almost traffic free roads.

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craigenty
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Re: Grenoble information

Postby craigenty » Sat Nov 24, 2012 21:55 pm

It's not a very pleasant ride up from Grenoble - a false flat slog on a busy road quite often without a bike lane.

If you don't mind no-frills just turn up and you'll get a room at the Hotel Milan in Bourg. Bit tatty but the breaky is ok and the water is always hot.

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Grill
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Re: Grenoble information

Postby Grill » Sat Nov 24, 2012 23:47 pm

Mikey1976 wrote:I'm looking at doing the same next year. Can't seem to get decent flights to Grenoble from Birmingham, I'm even thinking about driving.

780 miles in 12 hours according to route finder, anybody done this, is there many or are the toll roads expensive?


Grenoble-Isere is a seasonal airport that runs a whole lot of nothing in the summer and is dodgy in the winter as most flights are weekend charters. Best bet is Lyon as the bus to Grenoble is every hour. The most difficult part from there is the bus from Grenoble to Bourg as off-season it only runs twice a day.

When are you planning on going?
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Mikey1976
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Re: Grenoble information

Postby Mikey1976 » Sun Nov 25, 2012 17:17 pm

Probably looking at Aug/Sept. Got a budget of about £500 and looking to do it over a long weekend if possible.....

Crescent
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Re: Grenoble information

Postby Crescent » Sun Nov 25, 2012 19:07 pm

Grill wrote:
Hotel La Cascade is the best option followed by Le Petit Catalan.


Got positive replies from both hotels, currently favouring Le petit catalan as they do half board. Hope to confirm this week. Had to email the hotels directly as booking.com showed no availability? Le PC is about 75 euros, Cascade about 45 euros B&B.
Not really on a budget but don't want to go daft either, will probably be a combination of plane and train to Grenoble then bus to Bourg d'Oisans. Looking to hire a bike over there rather than cart mine across Europe with me.
Alpe d'Huez will be the main challenge but I believe Galibier, Croix de Fer and Glandon are all within "easy" reach? A quick look on Google maps shows Galibier is about a 50mile round trip. Sound about right?

Thanks for the replies, much appreciated. Cheers.
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“When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. “ ~H.G. Wells
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BigGar35
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Re: Grenoble information

Postby BigGar35 » Mon Nov 26, 2012 09:17 am

Glandon / Croix de Fer start about 10 miles or so from Bourg. Yep, the Galibier would be about a 50 mile round trip. Not a flat 50 though! Will be 25 miles up hill basically (lots of tunnels. Some well lit. Some not so well lit) followed by the same route back (great descent). You could look at doing Les Deux Alpes. That starts about 10 miles from Bourg. Basically start on the route above to the Galibier and turn right after about 8 to 10 miles.

velovation
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Re: Grenoble information

Postby velovation » Mon Nov 26, 2012 17:00 pm

Mikey1976 wrote:Probably looking at Aug/Sept. Got a budget of about £500 and looking to do it over a long weekend if possible.....

Would you consider doing an organised/supported tour in the area? Have a look at http://velovation.co.uk/the-big-one/. Its short and sweet and includes all the best of the cols in that area

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MoscowFlyer
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Re: Grenoble information

Postby MoscowFlyer » Tue Nov 27, 2012 19:11 pm

velovation wrote:
Mikey1976 wrote:Probably looking at Aug/Sept. Got a budget of about £500 and looking to do it over a long weekend if possible.....

Would you consider doing an organised/supported tour in the area? Have a look at http://velovation.co.uk/the-big-one/. Its short and sweet and includes all the best of the cols in that area


The majority of links on your site don't actually work.

velovation
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Re: Grenoble information

Postby velovation » Tue Nov 27, 2012 20:12 pm

MoscowFlyer wrote:The majority of links on your site don't actually work.


I know thank you, sorry about that we just changed our web hosting site and its been driving me nuts...its all fixed now.

Bigpikle
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Re: Grenoble information

Postby Bigpikle » Wed Nov 28, 2012 22:23 pm

make sure you have 'be seen' lights with you, as some of the tunnels on those roads are long and dark enough to be a little scary and a couple have bends in them that make you totally invisible. At the least a little blinking LED might just save your bacon...

Cracking riding there - went for a 4 day trip last Sept, and did AdH, CdF & Glandon, Galibier, Les Deux Alpes and had a great time. Could be very cold on those descents that early so bring enough kit. Top of Galibier in mid Sept was 1 deg and the wind made it well below...
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Crescent
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Re: Grenoble information

Postby Crescent » Thu Nov 29, 2012 08:27 am

Bigpikle wrote:make sure you have 'be seen' lights with you, as some of the tunnels on those roads are long and dark enough to be a little scary and a couple have bends in them that make you totally invisible. At the least a little blinking LED might just save your bacon...

Cracking riding there - went for a 4 day trip last Sept, and did AdH, CdF & Glandon, Galibier, Les Deux Alpes and had a great time. Could be very cold on those descents that early so bring enough kit. Top of Galibier in mid Sept was 1 deg and the wind made it well below...



Good info, thanks for that. I thought May would be OK weatherwise but seem to remember a mountain stage of the Giro being cancelled last year due to heavy snow so I'm taking nothing for granted.
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“When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. “ ~H.G. Wells
Edit - "Unless it's a BMX"


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